Conservatives to Facilitate Nuclear Power

Nuclear power has long been Britain’s most significant source of low carbon energy. In 1979 nuclear provided 12% of our electricity, and by 1997 that proportion had more than doubled to 26%.

That, however, was the high point. From 1997 to the present day, the nuclear share of the generating mix halved to 13% – and will continue to fall as all but one of our nuclear power stations retire by 2023. Nuclear power is proven technology, but its long development times mean that replacements for older plant have to be planned years ahead.

The Government’s long-standing refusal to make a decision on nuclear power has meant that new nuclear capacity will not be ready until towards the end of the decade.Our framework reforms to energy policy will ensure that this failure to anticipate and prepare for the future can never happen again.

• We support the long overdue National Planning Statements on energy infrastructure, which are of critical importance to nuclear power – and will submit them to a vote of Parliament to protect against Judicial Review and the further delays that would cause.
• A carbon floor price will provide a reliable signal for investment in all forms of low carbon energy including nuclear power.
• Consistent with our view that all energy supplies must be sustainable without permanent public subsidy, we agree with the nuclear industry that taxpayer and consumer subsidies should not and will not be provided – in particular there must be no public underwriting of construction cost overruns.
• We will work closely with the industry to identify a long-term repository for nuclear waste and establish a fair allocation of costs for the use new nuclear power stations will make of the facility.
• We would retain the Office of Nuclear Development, which is widely recognised as an effective body

You can read the Conservative ‘Rebuilding Security’ document here.